What’s the missing I could provide?
I have a client, we’ll call him Bill, who is in the middle of selling one of his companies. The framework of the deal is great, but it’s a complicated transaction that’s been dragging on for a while.
He just wants it to be done. It’s been an extensive negotiation that’s taken way longer than anyone thought it would. It’s almost done, they can see the end in sight. The problem is the buyer is made up of multiple partners who all have their own set of lawyers “looking over the deal” which has delayed the closing.
When we get impatient with something we think “should have” happened by now, we’re essentially arguing with reality. And reality wins every time. The reality in this case is, the deal hasn’t closed yet and any amount of frustration, angst or worry Bill injects into the situation will probably torpedo the deal rather than move it in the direction he wants.
It’s a good reminder that even though we’re swashbuckling entrepreneurs we’re not in charge of the timeline of when something happens…ever! Our only job is to see what’s in front of us, in the moment, and make the next move.
A question I often ask when an outcome is stalling is:
“What’s the missing I could provide in this situation?”
And a key point here is that “missing” doesn’t mean anything is wrong. It simply means there’s something missing I could provide that might positively impact the outcome. It gets me out of my impatient and fearful thinking and inquiring into what’s possible. New opportunities for action and communication show up and now I’m back in the driver’s seat.
In this case, we came up with one more thoughtfully crafted email to enroll the buyers into completing the deal in the time frame we wanted.
This week’s challenge
1. Identify an outcome that’s important to you that’s stalled out.
2. Get clear again on what success looks like in this situation.
3. Ask the question “What’s the missing I could provide?”
4. Whatever the answer is. Do that.
“Things take the time they take. Don’t worry. How many roads did Saint Augustine take before he became Saint Augustine.” – Mary Oliver